In his radical overhaul of
Anthony Shaffer’s play (and a 1972 film), Harold Pinter (the Nobel-laureate
playwright famous for spare dialogue and long, meaningful pauses) turns
Shaffer’s gaudy, meandering curiosity into a fascinating and tension-filled
Theatrical Release: August 30th, 2007 - Venice Film Festival
DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 8.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
by Kenneth Branagh + Michael Caine
Aside from some unusual edge-shimmering this SD treatment from Sony is certainly adequate for standard home viewing. Contrast and shadows look exceptionally good with occasional blue tinted color-coding lighting. I expect the Blu-ray might be quite spectacular impressing with some of the lavish decor scenes inside the mansion but other than that I wouldn't think the film rates an upgrade to watch in 1080 resolution. This SD represents the film very well as the screen captures below should indicate. The 5.1 audio is never really tested with such a dialogue driven script but the sound is still clear and consistent throughout on this DVD. It is supported by English, French or Spanish subtitles. This DVD is dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive - it is coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard.
The supplements include two full commentaries - the first with Caine and Branagh and it is quite laid back but has some decent information. There are a few gaps but fans may get some enjoyment out of hearing the two powerhouses comfortably chat. I particularly enjoyed when they talked about the original film. The second has Jude Law alone and aside from a few gaps he holds his own, repeating some information, but imparting other details about the make-up and subtle changes to the script. There are also two featurettes for those not ambitious enough for the commentaries. The first A Game of Cat and Mouse - Behind the Scenes of Sleuth runs 15 minutes long and has input from all the principles - Caine, Branagh, Law and Pinter. Probably too short for more than a gloss-over but for some that may be enough. The second deals with the extensive make-up utilized - it is entitled Inspector Black: Make-up Secrets Revealed but only lasts about 2 1/2 minutes.
The film? - I was ready to enjoy and although it falls short as the entire world now knows the 'twist' I sat back with a healthy scotch and it both kept me on edge and amused me at times. Sometimes its great just to see professionals practicing their craft. It definitely has some merits but I think its best though to keep your expectations rather low. This DVD is a very worthwhile way to view the film.
Ohh... watch for, writer, Harold Pinter as 'the man on the tellie'.